Local News

Durham Mother Who Lost Son In Accident Thankful For Support

Posted November 12, 2003

— A mother whose 17-year-old son died in a crash caused by a Durham police officer said she is amazed by the support her family still gets nearly four months later.

"It's been wonderful to know he's meant so much to so many people, but at the same time, it's hard because it opens up the same emotions every single day," said Robin Smith, Matthew's mother.

Investigators said Durham Police Officer Alfred Rodriguez ran a flashing red light and hit a Jeep Wrangler. Matthew West, a passenger in the jeep, died.

Authorities said Rodriguez was on duty, but he was not responding to a call. He has been on administrative leave since the July accident.

Rodriguez was scheduled to be in court Wednesday, but the judge continued the case until next year.

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